Race Map

This year’s course has been measured at exactly 4KM, and is designed with river currents in mind and staying clear of shallow areas.

Riverkeeper 4K Official Race Map

Race Schedule

Please note that the actual schedule may vary. Participants will receive an official race schedule prior to the event.



Race Kit Pick-up

Date: Thursday, August 8th (2pm – 8pm)

Location: Ottawa Riverkeeper office, 275 Bay Street, 3rd floor

* PLEASE NOTE: If you are traveling from outside the Ottawa and Gatineau regions and cannot be present for the race kit pick-up, please make arrangements with the race organizer and be prepared to show up 45 minutes early to pick up your race kit.



Date: Saturday, August 10th

4k Swim Schedule

Start Location: Lac Deschênes Sailing Club

6:30am 4K Morning Shuttle - Tunney’s Pasture pickup (DND Building 16 Parking Lot – 101 Goldenrod Driveway, Ottawa)

7:00-7:40 am – Swimmer and Paddler check-in, bag drop-off, and timing chip pickup

7:40 am –  Paddler meeting (all paddlers/boat drivers) with Lead Paddler Dan Wilcock

7:45 am –  Race meeting (all 4K swimmers)

8:00 am –  4K race start

8:00 – Heat 1 (fastest)

8:03 – Heat 2

8:06 – Heat 3

10:09 am –  4K cut-off time (any swimmer still in the water at this time will be picked up by the safety boats)

Finish Location: Parc des Cèdres

750m and 1500m Schedule:

Start Location: Parc des Cèdres

7:15-8:00 am – Swimmer check-in, timing chip pickup

8:10 am –  Race meeting (all 750 and 1.5K swimmers)

8:20 am –  1.5K race start

8:30 am –  750m race start

Note: all swim races will finish on foot at Parc des Cèdres, with a clearly marked finish line.

Finish Location: Parc des Cèdres



Location: Parc des Cèdres

9:45 - 10:30 am –  Awards Ceremony

10:35am – 4K Shuttle 1 departs for Lac Deschênes Sailing Club with a stop at Tunney’s Pasture

10:45am – 4K Shuttle 2 departs for Lac Deschênes Sailing Club with a stop at Tunney’s Pasture

11:00am – 4K Shuttle 3 departs for Lac Deschênes Sailing Club with a stop at Tunney’s Pasture

Note:  Food and refreshments will be available at finish area.


Lac Deschênes Sailing Club:
There is limited parking available onsite at LDSC. Carpooling or cycling to the race is encouraged.
Drop-off point: 10 Rangeview Avenue.
Participants and boats may be dropped off directly at LDSC.
Drivers may park in the lot at Shirley’s Bay (11 Shirley’s Bay) and walk in (650m). Budget 8-10 minutes for this.

Parc des Cèdres:
The Marina parking lot is likely to be under construction at the time of the Riverkeeper 4K. Parking on nearby city streets is available.
Participants may be dropped off at the Sailing School; otherwise, please factor in time to park nearby and walk to the venue.

Shuttles/Bag Drop

Bag Drop
Swimmers will receive a bag drop tag in their race kit. Please affix this to your bag in a visible location.

Upon check-in, swimmers may leave a bag at the baggage check-in area.

Your belongings will arrive at the designated shuttle area at Parc des Cèdres at approximately 9:00 AM, and will remain there until the shuttles return to LDSC, at approximately 11:00.

* Ottawa Riverkeeper is not responsible for any missing, damaged or stolen baggage.
Any belongings found on the shuttle will be returned to the Ottawa Riverkeeper office (275 Bay St.) and kept for 1 week then donated, unless other arrangements are made.

New this year: we are offering a pre-race shuttle for participants swimming the 4K. The shuttle will pick you up at Tunney’s Pasture and bring you to the starting line at Lac Deschênes Sailing Club.
After the race and awards ceremony, shuttles will transport participants back to Lac Deschênes Sailing Club making a stop at Tunney’s Pasture. Please refer to the post-race schedule for arrival/departure times.
Contact the race organizer  for possibility of transporting bikes or additional spectators on the shuttles.
Spots are limited, specifically the pre-race morning shuttle so make sure to sign-up!

Race Kits

Race Kits

All swimmers receive the following in their race kit, plus a few bonus goodies!

  • Race Map
  • Race Rules & Information
  • Participant Swim Cap
  • Race T-Shirt
  • Shuttle bag tag & instructions
  • And more!


Thanks to the following supporters who are providing prizes this year!

Finisher Awards

Fastest 3 finishers will be recognized in the following categories:

4K –  Overall Women’s – Wetsuit
4K –  Overall Women’s – Non-wetsuit
4K –  Overall Men’s –  Wetsuit
4K –  Overall Men’s – Non-wetsuit
1.5K – Overall Women’s
1.5K – Overall Men’s
750m – Overall Women’s
750m – Overall Men’s

Participant Prizes

Both swimmers and paddlers will be eligible to win some of our amazing participant prizes. Make sure you stay for the awards ceremony for your chance to win!

Fundraising Awards

The top 3 individual fundraisers and top fundraising team will be recognized.

Start fundraising now for your chance to win amazing prizes! Click here for more info on individual or team fundraising.


Can I wear a wetsuit to do the swim?
Yes! Both wetsuit and non-wetsuit swimmers are welcome. There are separate categories for awards, however! Note: the anticipated river temperature will be approx. 25°C.

Will there be changerooms/washrooms on-site?
Lac Deschenes has changerooms (limited size), and washrooms, in addition to rented porta-potties on site. In order to prevent last-minute stress, we highly encourage you to show up in your swimsuit.

Can I bring a MyFloat device or a Swim Buddy?
Yes! Devices such as these increase your visibility on and in the water, and make it easier for personnel on one of our safety boats to see you if the need arises. All swimmers, especially those in heats 2 and 3, are highly encouraged to use one of these devices.

Has the course changed this year?
No — it will be the same course as last year. The course (4K) is measured at exactly 4.0km.

What’s the furthest distance from each marker?
The max distance between course markers (buoys/sailboat) is 600m.

I think I made a mistake on my entry time when I registered. Can I change it?
Please notify the race organizer prior to race-kit pick-up as it may affect your heat number. Any changes after August 8 will not be permitted.

What are acceptable types of watercraft for the volunteer paddlers, and do you provide boats for paddlers?
We encourage volunteers to bring their own non-propelled boats in the spirit of the outdoor race; kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, paddle boats are acceptable.
We do not provide boats. Watercraft can be rented at several outlets around the city.

What happens if I lose my timing device?
Please notify the race director immediately upon crossing the finish line. Failure to do so may result in race disqualification.

What if I pass the maximum time limit for the swim, but I just want to keep swimming?
For everyone’s safety, it is important that all swimmers comply with the time limits specified, and follow the directions of the safety boat personnel if asked to board the safety vessel.

What if I get too tired during the swim?
A few breaths on your back can work wonders! Otherwise, flag down the nearest paddler and they will call one of the motorized boats to pick you up. There are several safety motor boats along the course that can help you out.

Is there a shuttle for paddlers?
There is no shuttle for 4K paddlers; at the end of the race once the awards are over, paddlers are expected to paddle back to Lac Deschenes Sailing Club unless they have arranged for alternate transportation.